Not now, Covid! Health chiefs declare two new 'variants of concern'

Not now, Covid! Health chiefs declare two new ‘variants of concern’

Two types of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 have been newly classified as variants of concern in the UK.

Only a small number of cases of Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 have been identified so far, but analysis of the available data suggests they are likely to have a ‘growth advantage’ over Omicron BA.2, currently the dominant variant, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

As of May 20, 115 cases of probable or confirmed BA.4 had been identified, with 67 in England, 41 in Scotland, six in Wales and one in Northern Ireland.

Some 80 cases of BA.5 have been identified, with 48 in England, 25 in Scotland, six in Northern Ireland and one in Wales.

Only a small number of cases of Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 have been identified so far, but analysis of the available data suggests they are likely to have a 'growth advantage' over Omicron BA.2, currently the dominant variant, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA)

Only a small number of cases of Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 have been identified so far, but analysis of the available data suggests they are likely to have a ‘growth advantage’ over Omicron BA.2, currently the dominant variant, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA)